Noticeboard

Consultation on Draft Misuse of Drugs (Amendment) Regulations which will amend the Misuse of Drugs Regulations, 1988

The purpose of this consultation is to seek input from stakeholders and interested parties on the text of Draft Misuse of Drugs (Amendment) Regulations 2013 which will amend the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 1988.

The following documents are enclosed as part of this consultation:

  1. Draft Misuse of Drugs (Amendment) Regulations
  2. Explanatory document providing an explanation of the draft Regulations *
  3. Unofficial consolidation of the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 1988-2011.

The main proposed amendments to the Misuse of Drugs Regulations are set out below. For a more detailed explanation of the proposed amendments, please refer to the enclosed Explanatory Document.

  • Strengthen controls on the import, export and possession of benzodiazepines and z-drugs to address the problem of illicit trading in these products,
  • Improve and update the rules governing the prescribing and supply of benzodiazepines and z-drugs within the health system,
  • Amend the Regulations to allow a newly authorised medicinal product containing cannabis extract to be prescribed, supplied and used by patients,
  • Apply new controls or update the level of controls under the Misuse of Drugs Regulations to a number of substances,
  • Update the list of controlled drugs and the clinical situations in which those controlled drugs may be prescribed by nurse prescribers.

Interested organisations, stakeholders and individuals are invited to make a written submission containing their comments on the Draft Misuse of Drugs (Amendment) Regulations 2013 to Controlled_Drugs@health.gov.ie by 30 August 2013.

* Clarification regarding prescription-writing requirements for benzodiazepine and z-drugs

On receipt of submissions in response to the Misuse of Drugs (Amendment) Regulations consultation, we wish to clarify that the proposed amendments to the Regulations do not require prescriptions for benzodiazepines and z-drugs to be handwritten. It is proposed that benzodiazepine and z-drug prescriptions will ordinarily be supplied on a prescription limited to a maximum of 3 months. Where the prescriber decides that a patient requires treatment with a benzodiazepine or z-drug for up to 6 months, again the prescription does not require to be handwritten, except for a note in the prescriber’s handwriting on the prescription that up to 6 months’ supply is necessary for the treatment of that patient.

In response to a number of requests for an extension to the deadline for receipt of submissions in response to the consultation on the Misuse of Drugs Regulations proposed amendments, it has been decided to extend the deadline by a week to the 6th September 2013.